Every day I am blown away by the people who have come into my life over the last few years.
From Lynn, to whom I’ve been married for over a decade and is an absolute rock in my life, to my old boss, friend, and mentor L at the ambulance, to my church friends and family who I’ve become friends with over the last few years, everyone has made an impact on my life and my recovery.
All of these people and more have stood behind both Lynn and I as we both heal from injuries. From the little things, such as helping us clean up the house before Lynn’s mom and sister arrived, to B coming over today to help me with the taking down of the outside Christmas decorations.
I would not be where I am in my recovery without those close to me. It is said that “people come into a life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime” (anon). I fully agree with this sentiment. God has brought the people I need in my life to enter some sort of recovery.
Some of those have entered my life for a season. My first marriage was a whirlwind, and separating from her was the single hardest decision I made in my life. Ashley burned bright, but as usual the brightest burnt out the fastest. She entered my life when I was at a low point, but despite how things went, she did teach me a lot about myself and the demons in my mind. I mourn her loss to suicide, but if not for that path with her, I would not be where I am today.
Others enter for a reason, good or bad. I have worked with people on the ambulance that I would go to bat for no matter what, and I’ve worked with others that I would throw in front of the proverbial bus at the first opportunity because I know they would do the same. I’m just glad those partnerships were usually short-lived. They always served as an example of how I didn’t want to be. One manager I had years ago had his personal reasons for his thoughts on those with mental illness, but the fact that he felt the need to share that the mentally ill need to be locked up or shot should not have been an opinion to share with your staff. This was said without his knowledge of my mental illness diagnosis. Needless to say, it made me less than comfortable working for him, and I did not stick around long.
Another partner I had also had a dislike for dealing with psych patients. With this partner, it didn’t matter how compliant a patient was, if she was in the back with them, she had them restrained. Needless to say that this was not a perspective I appreciated, and I am happy to say that over my years of service, I can count on one hand the number of psych patients I had to restrain. In the rest of the cases, I was able to use logic, reason, and compassion to make sure things with the patient went smoothly. Things went to hell with this partner after she became aware of my diagnosis, and I did not remain with the service very long after that.
Both of the previous examples showed me how not to be, and definitely served as entering my life for a reason. Since that point in time I have learned that everyone has the ability to instantly improve your life, some by entering it, and others by departing it.
Yet others enter your life for a lifetime. Some have the ability to become your close friends, your confidante, or your lover. These are the people who you know have your back, regardless of how hard you try to push them away. These are the people that BECOME family.
I know I have that in Lynn. I feel that I have that in B, J+E, R+M, and K&D as well. I have been through hell over the last few years, and every step of the way they were behind, no matter how much I pushed them or tried to scare them away. They were there, supporting Lynn amidst my collapse, and always ready to reach out a hand to me when I was recovering, with no judgement or hard-feelings, just compassion and concern.
People like this rarely come into someone’s life, and I am blessed to have so many in mine.